Monday, December 31, 2007

More Vegas

Today seems to be the day of the mobile phone. It’s been pretty much silent through the trip so far but this morning at 3:40am I got a call from Ryan C, a guy I worked with at Saga, to tell me he was at a loose end in London and did I fancy a coffee. At 4am I got a text message from Jeremy F inviting us to birthday drinks later in the week. Around 9am Chris C called from home to wish me a happy New Year and advise me on the best place to see the New Year fireworks in Vegas. Since then there’s been a steady stream of text messages from people wishing us Happy New Year.

We had actually planned a 5am start this morning to catch the sunrise that we missed yesterday, so on the whole the messages weren’t a problem. As we were dressing, the TV news told us that New Zealand had already celebrated the New Year (at 3am local time) and briefly contemplated the huge Earth spinning on its stately axis; I thought of one of my work colleagues who is down there with his family. They were already in 2008 while we had another 19 hours to go!

We drove out to a viewpoint outside the city as dawn was beginning to break and I think I got some good pictures of that, although I’ll probably need to carefully process the shots of the first sunlight hitting the hills beyond, as the morning was hazy again. There was a distinct layer of grey/green smog hanging over the valley this morning. Not pretty!

After that early morning outing we came back to the hotel, napped a while then went down to the buffet for a second (more substantial) breakfast. It was busier this morning than it had been at dinner the first night and we had to queue for a while to get in (another parallel with Disney; endless queue-management in front of each attraction…)

Then we took a stroll through the connecting shopping mall to the Mandalay Bay hotel next door; a much nicer joint than the somewhat down-at-heel Luxor! Whenever I come back to complete my exploration of Vegas, that’s where I want to stay.

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